The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the oldest political foundation in Germany with a profound democratic tradition dating back to its foundation in 1925. The foundation owes its formation and its mission to the political legacy of its namesake Friedrich Ebert, the first democratically elected German President.
Friedrich Ebert, a Social Democrat from a humble crafts background who had risen to hold the highest political office in his country, in response to his own experience in political confrontation had proposed the establishment of a foundation to serve the following aims:
The work of our political foundation from the very beginning focuses therefore on the core ideas and values of social democracy – freedom, justice and solidarity. This connects us also to the German and international social democratic family. As a non-profit institution however, we organize our work autonomously and independently.
We support and strengthen social democracy in particular by means of:
Instruments include national, regional, and international workshops, seminars and conferences, studies and publications, capacity training, scholarships as well as international exchange programs.
Friedrich Ebert served from 1919 to 1925 as the first President of the Weimar Republic. He advocated the development of parliamentary democracy, viewed himself as the president of all Germans, and was committed to a politics geared to social balance and compromise. In his will, he specified that the proceeds from donations at his funeral should be used to create a foundation. The main concern of FES from then on was to work against discrimination of workers in the area of education.
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